Weird things seem to be afoot with Pitch Perfect 3, the third installment in Universal’s successful effort to move the world of a capella singing away from the hunt for Carmen Sandiego, and into the hands of capable comic performers like Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson. Last week, the studio announced that it was delaying the movie by five months, pushing it back to a December 22, 2017 release. Now, Variety is reporting that co-star Elizabeth Banks will no longer be directing the film, despite previous assertions to that effect.
Banks—who made her directorial debut with last year’s Pitch Perfect 2—will still produce the film, and appear as recurring musical commentator Gail Abernathy-McKadden-Feinberger. But owing at least in part to her busy schedule, which includes directing a new Charlie’s Angels movie and starring as the villain in the upcoming Power Rangers film, she’s apparently had to vacate the director’s chair.
It’s not clear what the cause and effect relationship is here—whether the movie’s delay necessitated Banks stepping back, or whether her departure pushed back plans for the film. Either way, Universal needs to get a new director on board soon, although given the success of the last two films, they probably won’t have to look too hard for willing candidates for the gig.